Healthgrades launches new search platform for finding the right doctor to meet specific health needs
Healthgrades has launched a new search experience to help consumers make smarter health care choices based on knowledge, not chance. For the first time, consumers can search for a physician based on factors that physicians themselves agree are the most important to know when selecting a health care provider:
- Experience – do they diagnose a condition or perform a procedure and how frequently;
- Hospital quality – clinical outcomes of the hospital where they practice, and
- Patient satisfaction – do patients recommend this doctor, including feedback on their communication skills and the office experience.
The new Healthgrades search experience is free and allows consumers to search for a doctor by sub-specialty, specific diseases, conditions and procedures, as well as patient satisfaction and hospital quality.Consumers can now search by 1,100 practicing specialties and by 600 diseases, conditions and procedures that can be matched to the consumer’s need based upon the volume of physician experience in addition to other important criteria.
These 600 diseases, conditions and procedures represent more than 90 percent of all inpatient hospital admissions with another 800 disease, conditions and procedures to be added in November. Information supporting the new search experience is assembled from a de-identified medical insurance claims database derived from public and commercially available sources.
“The Internet has dramatically changed how people access important information and make connections. Just look at the popularity of sites like Zillow and TripAdvisor.com. But unlike shopping for a house or vacation, detailed information about physicians and hospitals has been non-existent until now,” said Healthgrades Chief Executive Officer Roger C. Holstein. “Healthgrades is transforming how Americans find a doctor, at a time when people need this information most. We are giving people the information needed – the doctor’s experience, the quality of their hospital and whether patients were satisfied with their care – to make critical decisions.”
The in-depth search capability addresses an important gap: 90 percent of consumers have said they could make a better choice when selecting a physician if they knew more about the physicians in their insurance plans, according to a Harris Interactive study conducted for Healthgrades. In a separate Stax survey conducted for Healthgrades, about two-thirds of physicians said they do not have all the information needed to make optimal referral decisions – and they specifically highlighted a doctor’s experience (85 percent), hospital quality (57 percent) and patient satisfaction (56 percent) as information people most need to know.
Information That Matters Most
The new search platform takes into account the reality that physicians diagnose, treat and manage specific diseases, conditions and procedures at varying frequency, meaning some doctors spend more time than others on specific areas of expertise. This variation can affect patient care: recent studies show that better patient outcomes occur with higher volume across a variety of physician specialties and procedures ranging from childbirth to angioplasty.1,2,3
To help consumers identify providers with experience in the diseases, conditions and procedures that matter to them, Healthgrades displays an “Experience Match” value, which incorporates up to nine components such as the provider’s specialty, the patient volume of conditions treated and/or procedures performed, total patient volume, as well as education, board certification, malpractice, board actions, and sanctions.
“When I developed some neck problems, including disc and ligament damage, it became clear that my condition required more focused medical treatment,” said patient Peter Guy, who selected a surgeon using Healthgrades. “For a tricky surgery, my results have been extremely positive. Without a doubt, Healthgrades is the best way to find information about the doctors with the most pertinent experience with a specific condition, and the hospitals best suited to treat it.”
Hospital quality is an important factor included on the site. The Healthgrades 2015 Report to the Nation, released today, demonstrates how clinical performance differs dramatically between hospitals and the impact that this variation may have on health outcomes. For example, in the Denver area, of the 17 hospitals evaluated for total knee replacement between 2011 and 2013, Healthgrades found that performance varied, with the lowest complication rate at 5.5 percent compared to the highest of 24 percent – a four-fold increase over the best performer.
The new Healthgrades search experience incorporates hospital quality data from this report. Consumers can determine whether a physician’s affiliated hospitals demonstrate excellence for 36 of the most common diseases, conditions or procedures. They can also see whether the hospitals have earned Healthgrades quality awards or achieved five-star ratings from Healthgrades, signifying significantly better than expected patient outcomes.
In addition, the platform gives patient satisfaction rates based on nearly five million patient experience surveys, evaluating the physician’s communication skills, availability and office experience. This information provides consumers with valuable insights that help them to establish a partnership with their doctor.
For more information about Healthgrades and to make informed decisions about hospitals and physicians in your area, visit www.healthgrades.com or download the Healthgrades app.
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release.
1. Janakiramna V, Lazar J., Joynt KE, Jha, AK. Hospital volume, provider volume, and complications after childbirth in U.S. Hospitals. Obstetric Gynecology, 2011: 118(3).
2. Srinivas, V.S. Et al. Effect of physician volume on the relationship between hospital volume and mortality during primary angioplasty. Journal of American College of Cardiology, 2009: 53(7).
3. Chaudry, M.M., H. Dagash and A. Pierro. A systematic review of the impact of volume of surgery and specialization on patient outcome. British Journal of Surgery. 2007: 94.